Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Do the Work of an Evangelist

But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5 NKJV)

Three Recent Experiences

On three occasions recently, I have had opportunity to ask people if they knew what an evangelist was.  One was a girl who was cleaning my teeth.  I found it a little hard to explain the term while she was working on my wide-open mouth.  Another was a person with an office who was working at a bank.  Another was a waitress in a restaurant.  All of them for one reason or another had asked me if I was “retired”.  I told them that I had slowed down but I was an evangelist, and evangelists never really retire.  When I noticed the blank looks on their faces, I said to them, “You don’t know what an evangelist is, do you?”  All three did not.  When I tried to explain by referring to Billy Graham, all three drew blanks there as well.  They did not know who he was.  I had intended to tell them that I did work like Billy Graham did, apart from ministering to Presidents and apart from having big crowds, and not doing altar calls, etc. 

Billy Graham died November 21, 2018.  His last crusade was in 2005 which means that people born that year would now be 14 years old.  People under the age of 20 probably would not have been greatly impacted by his life and ministry even though some of his programs can still be seen and heard on-line.  But in my day, he was a big deal.  Today, the younger generation does not even recognize his name and one of the younger people I am referring to had to be in his thirties and went to one of the biggest evangelical churches in our area. 

What is an Evangelist?

An evangelist is simply a preacher of the Gospel.  What is the Gospel?  The term mean “good news.”  We sometimes talk about Gospel truth.  What we are saying is somewhat redundant because the Gospel is the truth.  But people that are going to heaven have considered the message and are staking their souls for eternity on the truth of the Gospel.  There isn’t much news that we consider absolutely true in our day and age, so Gospel truth is truth that we are absolutely convinced is true and it is truth that will never change. The Gospel tells us that Christ died for sinners so their sins can be forgiven, and they can look forward to a home in heaven.  That is why we sometimes say, that the gospel is good news for bad people (sinners) and bad news for good people (since they are also sinners but think they do not need to be saved). 

Our Responsibility

As Christians we may not have the gift of evangelism as explained in Ephesians 4:11-12, “ And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”  But we can all do the work of the evangelist.  What concerns me is that the younger generation has not read their Bibles and do not even know what the word evangelist means.  The waitress that my wife and I talked to recently thanked us profusely for sharing a tract and a website with her.  We encouraged her to read the Bible starting with the Gospel of John.  I am concerned that we are so concerned with teaching Christians how to act like Christians that we forget to tell the unsaved that they must prepare for eternity.  When they die, they will either go to heaven or to hell and it will all depend on whether they have believed or trusted in the truth that Christ died for them and bore the punishment that they deserved for their sin. 

Now I understand why someone who has been raised in families that put no emphasis on the Bible might not know what and evangelist is even with all the radio programs, internet programs and TV programs that are available.  But how can a person who goes to an evangelical church today not know what an evangelist is?  And if they don’t know what an evangelist is, do they know what the Gospel is?  Maybe we need to make those truths clearer in our gatherings.  I realize that my contact may say he goes to that big church and he may only go on Christmas and Easter.  But I have been amazed at the Biblical ignorance of intelligent people who call themselves Christians that I have met recently.  Yes, Africa needs missionaries, but so do the churches that are drawing crowds of people who do not know what an evangelist is.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 23, 2019 

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